Estimator at TRAD SouthernTom started working for TRAD in 2011 and is now a management trainee at TRAD.
What attracted you to TRAD and when did you start working for the company?
I was attracted to working for TRAD because it is a well-regarded and well respected company within the Construction Industry; I had also seen the TRAD logo regularly when I was out and about in London.
Initially, I began with TRAD in 2011 working in the yard during my summer break from university. My time in the yard helped me to gain vital knowledge of both the materials and products that are used by the company.
What is your position now and how have you got here?
I was offered the chance to return to TRAD in 2012 on my industrial placement year to gain further knowledge of operations within the construction industry. This involved me working within various TRAD departments gaining invaluable experience in the Estimating, Surveying, Contract Operations and Health & Safety professions.
Following on from this I returned to university in 2013 and went on to complete my degree at Portsmouth University where I achieved a BA (Hons) degree in Business Studies.
I re-joined TRAD permanently as a Management Trainee in 2014 and since then I have worked on site as a trainee scaffolder for a year and moved into the office to take on the role of an estimator, which is my current job role.
What is it like working for TRAD within our mentoring scheme?
My personal experience has been excellent and I feel the scheme is a very good introduction into the scaffolding industry.
To be honest there are times when it can be both challenging and rewarding.
In my experience I learnt that provided you are willing to work hard and put the right amount of effort in to learn, there are many opportunities to develop and enhance personal skillsets.
With my mentoring, I receive a constant level of support and experience which is available on a daily basis from Directors and Senior Level long term employees within the company such as Andy Kyriacou (Senior Estimator), Peter McShane (Divisional Director), Ros Howe (Group HR Director) and Steve Kearney (Group SHEQ Director) all of whom are very highly respected and have a wealth of knowledge which they are happy to share.
What are your day to day challenges?
Each day I feel challenged, every day is different and most importantly I learn something new every single day.
My role requires me to ask questions and seek advice from a number of internal sources and to continually liaise and hold a close working relationship with our clients.
As an Estimator, I need to review and consider various scopes of works for our clients and provide them with a comprehensive quotation for their specific access scaffold solutions which will achieve the safest and most cost effective, end result.
What do you feel you are good at and why?
I work well as part of a Team, because I am reliable and committed to listening, understanding key ideas and sharing knowledge. As an individual and as part of a Team, I am methodical and well organised, and complete any given targets by clients or my colleagues on time. This aspect helps especially in my current role as Estimator, assisting with specific scaffold schedules which in some cases may have extremely tight deadlines requiring excellent communication and planning between our Client, myself and our Contracts Team.
Working at TRAD has also extended my knowledge with using computer software and programmes, especially Excel and Visio which I now use on a day to day basis. The programme set up assists with the production of comprehensive scaffolding quotations which I feel differentiates and sets us aside from our competition.
Have you been set, or have you set yourself career goals for this coming year and for the next five years – if so what are those?
I prefer not to set a five year plan but instead to focus on shorter term goals; however, whatever I am doing in five years’ time it is my aim to work hard and be one of the best in our industry. My career goals for this year are to further improve my industry knowledge, through mentoring and training, and to continue to build on our current client relationships and to engage and assist new clients.
Do you want to take on more responsibility? – Would you in turn be interested in mentoring someone in the future?
I am always looking to improve my knowledge and would be keen in the future to take on further responsibilities. Yes absolutely, in the future, I would be enthusiastic and interested in being involved with our mentoring programme and sharing my knowledge with people coming into the industry.
From your experience, what do you feel TRAD can improve on?
I believe TRAD are expanding and moving in the right direction with their policies and objectives, encouraging and supporting younger people, supporting culture and diversity within the Construction Industry.
However, I do feel that in addition to the above there should be a formal internal recruitment system, giving opportunities to our external workforce.
During my time working in the Yard and on Site, I worked with a number of highly intelligent and very capable, knowledgeable skilled workers each with varying life background experiences who I feel would excel with the relevant support and mentoring in place, which in turn would offer a great deal to the business.
Would you recommend others to go through our mentor system, and if so why?
Yes, I would strongly recommend people engaging with our mentoring scheme because it allows you to experience working within the various roles of the business. The experience offers you the relevant support mechanism and it is a great opportunity to develop your personal skills.
The time I spent working within the various Departments has been invaluable. There are not too many people who can say that they have worked in nearly every Department of their company. I now appreciate and understand all the different areas and elements of our company and have gained an insight into how a modern business is managed and the importance of mentoring and training its people to strive to be the very best.